Agrarian Sensibilities

Agrarianism promises a path toward wholeness with the earth, with each other, and with God, a path founded upon an insight into our proper place within the wider universe.

No doubt, an argument for agrarian life will sound old-fashioned. Most of us, after all, are urbanites, and so represent the culmination of a migratory trend that is unparalleled in human history. The exodus from country to city, now accomplished in “developed” countries and well on its way in the rest of the world, is seen by many as the necessary prerequisite for human freedom and progress. But given the enormity of implication and consequence that follows from a loss of intimate and practical connection with the earth (consider the general ignorance about our interdependence with other organisms), should we not at least pause to consider the cultural significance of the eclipse of agrarian sensibilities?

Norman Wirzba, from the Introduction to The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry


7 comments on “Agrarian Sensibilities

  1. Peggy is normally our “gardener.” Last spring she was gone for a while to see grandkids and I stayed home and took care of the plants. It was amazing how quickly I became committed to their welfare. –Curt


  2. Leigh says:

    I think I need to get this book.


    • Bill says:

      It’s a fine collection of essays and I enjoy Norman Wirzba’s intro. All the essays are in other volumes of Wendell Berry’s works, so before buying it you should check the contents to make sure you don’t already have them.


  3. Zambian Lady says:

    The situation in Zambia is interesting – younger people started buying farms and smallholdings, about fifteen years ago. Several of my friends and I have bought farms, built homes and live or planning to live there one day. For most it is not just a matter of wanting to be closer to nature(though that was the reason for me). Some of my friends live just outside town and grow vegetables or rear livestock or poultry in order to supplement their income. We are happy with our investments.


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